A simple recipe for cornmeal pancakes, pictured here made with blue cornmeal which is especially pretty with blueberries but yellow cornmeal works just as well. Will Shrove Tuesday's supper be pancakes at your house, too?
It was Judy Collins who introduced me to the seasons. Over and over, I played that 45. Winter-spring-summer-fall, all you have to do is call. (Oh wait. That’s Carole King.)
For as long as I can remember, if it's the Tuesday before Lent, the supper menu is the same, year after year. Making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is an old Christian tradition, a last gluttonous meal before the self-denial of Lent. It fits a modern-day sensibility, even if our lives are now so rich that the egg and butter and flour and sugar in pancakes are no long worthy of Lenten fasting. When was the last time you heard, "I'm giving up eggs for Lent"?
So tomorrow, it will be pancakes for supper and then on Ash Wednesday, I'll plant Lenten Grass, an old Finnish tradition especially good for helping children observe Lent.
Tis the season.
I’ve been experimenting with pancakes made with cornmeal and am happy to find one that’s substantial but not heavy, earthy but not gritty, in short, simple and superb.
CORNMEAL PANCAKES with BLUEBERRIES
Time to table: 15 - 30 minutes
Makes 10 4-1/2 inch pancakes
- 1 cup (160g) finely-ground stone-ground cornmeal
- 1/2 cup (66g) flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1-1/4 cups skim milk
- For the skillet, vegetable oil or bacon grease
- Fresh or frozen blueberries, optional but wonderful (see TIPS)
- To serve, sour cream (my favorite with blueberry pancakes) or maple syrup or blueberry syrup
In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal and other dry ingredients. Separately, whisk the egg and oil together, then whisk in the milk. Stir the egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients (the batter will be thinner than typical pancake batter).
Heat a large, heavy skillet or a pancake griddle on medium heat, when hot, brush with a little oil or bacon grease.
Pour a quarter cup of batter onto the skillet and if you like, sprinkle with frozen blueberries. Without moving, let the pancakes cook until the edges begin to firm up and a few air bubbles appear on the top, just a minute or two. Flip over with a spatula and cook another minute or two until cooked through but not dry. Best hot from the skillet, serve and savor!
Save any leftover batter, it can be used for another day or two although the pancakes will be quite flat since the baking powder action will be finished.
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